If you have a real caring streak, then you might already be thinking of nursing as a potential career option. Or you may very well already be a nurse, looking for the next step in your career. There is an unfortunate misconception amongst many that there isn’t really much progress available for a nurse.
While you can be happy in a RN role all your life, that doesn’t mean you don’t have options. Here, we’re going to look at some of the potential paths ahead of you.
Specialize in One Field
Finding a niche in a career is always a great way to get ahead. There’s no denying that some of the highest paying nursing careers involve certain specialized fields. For instance, you can specialize as a nurse anesthetist, administering anesthetic in surgery and trauma care. You can provide consultation and care to patients with mental health issues as a psychiatric nurse. You can specialize in neonatal or pediatric nursing care. There is plenty of room for you to find your niche, which might not only see you get a pay bump but could also help you cement a career that there will always be a demand for, simply because there are fewer people doing it.
Get to the Top of the Food Chain
All hospitals, like most businesses, have a hierarchy. Just because you may not a med school licensed doctor does not mean that there aren’t rungs for you to climb on the ladder of your career, too. With a Doctor of Nursing Practice qualification, you can open the way to nursing leadership roles within any hospital. An online family nurse practitioner education can also open the way to becoming an NP, which helps oversee patient care over a whole lifetime, much like a doctor would. It might take a little more education and time-investment to really reach the top position available, but it can help you truly master your craft and find a role that offers more challenge and responsibility as well as better benefits.
Get into the Science
Perhaps you’re much more interested in the scientific side of things, then you may want to look at the possibility of a career as a research nurse. Medical research is happening across the country all the time and nurses can play a huge role in administering care to the subjects and patients who are a part of that research. It’s just as much a caring role as regular RN work, but you can also get the benefit of being at the forefront of new changes to how we view and use healthcare. Research nurses also look at healthcare outcomes and services, identifying their own research questions and methods of investigating them.
There is a great demand for RNs, so it is worth noting that finding new branches in a nursing career isn’t necessarily essential to enjoy a full career in the field. However, if you’re looking for a new challenge, different responsibilities, or better pay then there are certain directions for you to feel out.